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Pradhan Mantri Kusum Scheme (PM-Kusum)



  Sep 09, 2023

Pradhan Mantri Kusum Scheme (PM-Kusum)


Q1: What is the PM-KUSUM scheme in India, and what is its objective?

A: The PM-KUSUM (Pradhan Mantri Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan Yojana) scheme is a government initiative aimed at promoting the use of solar pumps in agriculture. Its primary objectives are to ensure energy and water security for farmers, reduce the environmental impact of traditional pumps, and reduce dependence on grid-connected and diesel pumps.
 

Q2: How significant is the electricity consumption in the agriculture sector in India?

A: The electricity consumption in the agriculture sector is substantial, with over 220 lakh grid-connected agriculture pumps in the country consuming approximately 18% of the total electricity generated.
 

Q3: Why is the government providing electricity subsidies for agriculture, and where does this subsidy come from?

A: The government provides electricity subsidies for agriculture to support farmers. These subsidies are funded from the state's exchequer. 11 major DISCOMS in the country consume 95% of the electricity used in agriculture and annually provide over ₹1-lakh crore as electricity subsidy.
 

Q4: How do solar water pumps help farmers during power cuts?

A: Solar water pumps provide a reliable source of power for irrigation, even during power cuts. This is particularly important as power cuts are becoming more common in rural areas, leaving farmers without electricity during the day.
 

Q6: What are the components of the PM-KUSUM scheme, and how has its progress been so far?

A: The scheme has three components:
 
Generating 10 GW capacity through small solar power plants.
 
Installing 20 lakh standalone off-grid solar water pumps.
 
Solarization of 15 lakh existing grid-connected agriculture pumps.
 
Progress in implementing these components has been slow, with a significant gap between sanctioned and installed capacity.
 

Q7: Why is speedier implementation of the PM-KUSUM scheme important for farmers?

A: Speedier implementation is crucial to reduce farmers' dependence on traditional grid electricity and diesel pumps. This becomes especially vital during challenging periods like erratic monsoons, where reliable irrigation is necessary for agricultural success.
 

Q8: What is the role of solar pumps in reducing diesel consumption in agriculture?

A: When fully implemented, the PM-KUSUM scheme is expected to lead to a significant reduction in diesel consumption, thus lowering the import bill for petroleum products. This is achieved by replacing diesel pumps with more energy-efficient solar pumps.
 
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